1 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 1 of 14 College of Health and Human Performance Department of Health Education and Promotion Master of Arts (MA) in Health Education MA Program Contacts: Director of MA Program in Health Education & Promotion: Michele Wallen, PhD Belk Building, Room 3204 Greenville, NC USA Internship Supervisor in Health Education & Promotion: Sharon Knight, PhD BELK Building, Room 3201 Greenville, NC USA 252/ Chair, Department of Health Education & Promotion: J. Don Chaney, PhD BELK Building, Room 2202 Greenville, NC USA Department of Health Education and Promotion East Carolina University Belk Building, Room 2201 Greenville, NC USA
2 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 2 of 14 Table of Contents Introduction to the M.A. in Health Education 3 Admission to the Program..4 Course Requirements Electives..6 Graduate Certificate Options..8 Registration....8 Thesis Option..9 Changing from Thesis option to Coursework or Internship Internship Option..10 Comprehensive Exam...10 Graduate School Contacts Additional Information.12 Frequently Asked Questions 12-13
3 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 3 of 14 Program Description Introduction to the M.A. in Health Education Degree Program East Carolina University College of Health and Human Performance currently offers a 30-hour Masters of Arts in Health Education. The Master of Arts Degree in Health Education provides advanced academic training for individuals employed or planning to seek employment as health educators in academic, clinical, community, and corporate settings. The academic program requires a minimum of 30-semester hours. All students take 18-semester hours of required courses and select from one of three options: thesis, internship, or coursework. Students select electives in consultation with their advisor. This program is offered completely online.
4 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 4 of 14 Application Admission to the Program To apply to the Master of Arts in Health Education program, please follow the application process described by the East Carolina University Graduate School. The following webpage will provide you with the necessary information about the application process, as well as the related application documents Prerequisites The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree to be considered for admission into the graduate program. Applicants with undergraduate degrees in areas other than Health Education may be required to take additional courses. These courses can usually be taken as co-requisites to the student s regular graduate program. Admission Criteria Along with the ECU Graduate School application form, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, and the GRE or MAT scores are required. Submit all materials to the ECU Graduate School by the deadlines provided below. The following materials are used in making decisions regarding candidates appropriateness for the program: ECU Graduate School application form Statement of Purpose Three (3) Letters of Recommendation from academic or professional sources Official Transcripts GRE or MAT scores Application Deadlines Applicants seeking admission into the MA in Health Education program should send all required materials to the ECU Graduate School. The ECU Graduate School will then forward the required documents to the MA in Health Education program. May 5 - Summer I Admission June 15 Summer II Admission August 15 - Fall Admission December 20 -Spring Admission MA Program Director ECU Graduate School Dr. Michele Wallen The Graduate School Belk Building, Room 3204 East Carolina University Greenville, NC Ragsdale Phone: (252) Greenville, NC Phone: (252)
5 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 5 of 14 MA in Health Education Course Requirements The basic curriculum plan for the MA in health education requires 30 s.h. All students take 18 s.h. of required courses and select from one of three options: thesis, internship, or course work. Students select electives in consultation with their advisor. Required Courses HLTH 6001, 6011, 6101, 6110, 6600, 6650 Thesis Option HLTH 7000 BIOS 7021 or RCLS 6300 Guided Electives 18 s.h. 6 s.h. 3 s.h. 3 s.h. The student writes and orally defends a thesis. The student s advisor approves the thesis proposal along with a committee comprised of three faculty members from the Department of Health Education and Promotion and an outside reviewer. Internship Option HLTH 6990, 6991 Guided Electives 6 s.h. 6 s.h. The student completes a 240-hour internship experience and weekly activity report, and a major culminating project for which you were responsible during the internship experience, and a final internship report. The student also completes a comprehensive examination covering the required courses. Course Work Option Guided Electives 12 s.h. The student completes a comprehensive examination covering the required courses. Minimum Grade Requirement in Required Courses To maintain academic eligibility in the MA in health education program, students are expected to earn a B or better in required courses (HLTH 6001, 6011, 6101, 6110, 6600, 6650). Students will be placed on academic probation after earning a C in any of the required courses. Students earning 2 Cs in required courses will not be eligible to take classes in the Department of Health Education and Promotion until the student has retaken one of the courses in which the C was earned, resulting in a minimum grade of a B.
6 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 6 of 14 Required Courses Foundations of Health Education and Promotion (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education or consent of chair. Health behavior theory, ethics, and the practice environment Introduction to Epidemiology (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education or consent of chair. Overview of principles of epidemiology, including major epidemiologic study designs, measures of association, clinical trials, bias, confounding, and other topics Research Methods in Health Education (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education or consent of chair. Basic knowledge and skills regarding design, implementation, analysis, and interpretation of research in health education and promotion Intervention Strategies for Health Education and Promotion (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education and promotion or consent of chair. Apply existing research and best practices in methods/strategies utilized by health education and promotion professionals Needs Assessment in Health Education and Promotion (3) P: HLTH 6001, Admission to the MA in Health Education and Promotion or consent of chair. Needs assessment planning, implementation and evaluation Evaluation of Health Education and Promotion Programs (3) P: HLTH 6600; or consent of instructor. Principles and procedures to evaluate the process and impact of health promotion/disease prevention programs in community, clinical and corporate settings. Internship Option 6990, Internship in Health Education (3,3) P: Minimum of 18 s.h. in health education program or consent of chair. Supervised observation and practice in health education setting. Thesis Option Thesis (3) May be repeated. May count maximum of 6 s.h Thesis: Summer Research (1) May be repeated. No credit may count toward degree. Students conducting thesis research may only register for this course during the summer. Other MA Health Courses Offered by Our Department Maternal and Child Health Education (3) Theoretical base and appropriate education strategies for delivery of community health education programs.
7 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 7 of Sexuality Education in Health Education (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education or consent of instructor. Knowledge and skills in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating sexuality education in a community context Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Education and Prevention (3) P: Admission to graduate program or consent of chair. ATOD abuse education and prevention theory and approaches. 6501, 6502, Independent Study (1,2,3) P: Consent of advisor. Investigates current research and methodology in health education Health-Based Nonprofit Management (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education or consent of instructor. Theories, strategies, and skills for managing health-based nonprofit organizations Social Marketing (3) P: Admission to the MA in health education, or consent of instructor. Strategies for health-related nonprofit and public health agencies Thesis: Summer Research (1) May be repeated. No credit may count toward degree. Students conducting thesis research may only register for this course during the summer Qualitative Research: Analysis and Interpretation (3) Same as NURS 7100, OCCT 7100 P: Consent of chair. Application and evaluation of qualitative research design and methods including data collection, management and analysis approaches, and the art and science of interpretation Courses in other programs or departments that may be of interest The School of Communication offers a master s program in health communication. Several of the courses are applicable to public health practice. Adult Education (ADED) courses are designed to develop those skills necessary to design, initiate, and implement effective educational programs in adult populations. Thus, they serve the interests of several MA students. Biostatistics offers the basic statistics cours (BIOS 7001) required of those completing a quantitative thesis as well as more advanced classes. Environmental Health (EHST). In the public sector, awareness of the need and benefits of environmental health protection are important for health educators. The Departments of Sociology and Anthropology also have courses that MA Program students have found useful. You can locate a list of courses for these departments at the University Graduate Catalog:
8 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 8 of 14 Graduate Certificates Students in the course work option may consider certificate programs as a means of fulfilling the Program s 30 s.h. requirement. For a complete list of certificate options at ECU, please visit and select Certificates from the Program Level dropdown box. Online Certificate Options: Community College Instruction Community Health Center Administration Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities Health Care Administration Health Informatics Substance Abuse Counseling *Please check with your advisor for approval to seek a certificate that is not one of the above options. Registration You will be enrolling yourself in the courses you wish to take each semester. Please see this link to determine when you can begin registering for classes. https://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/registrar/regsched.cfm Each semester a list of available classes will be sent to you. There are screen shots of every step of registering for classes, which makes it very easy to follow. This can be found on the MA BlackBoard site. None of our HLTH courses are blocked, so you should be able to register yourself for the course. However, other departments may block their courses. If that is the case, you will need to contact the instructor of the course to request permission to take the course. Dr. Dr. Wallen cannot override courses in other departments. For internships courses: You only register for these courses IF you have discussed the internship option with Dr. Sharon Knight. These courses will be monitored to ensure only approved students are in these courses. HLTH 6990 = first semester of internship HLTH 6691 = second semester of internship For thesis courses: You only register for these courses IF you are currently working on a thesis supervised by a faculty member in the department. Remember to sign up for the section that your
9 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 9 of 14 thesis chair is listed (i.e. if Dr. Wallen is supervising your thesis, you would sign up for the section with her listed as the instructor). Registration Tips Only enroll in the internship course if you have completed ALL required courses AND have spoken to Dr. Knight. 9 hours is considered full-time. MA in Health Education Thesis Option The thesis option is particularly important for students with an interest in research or those who plan to pursue a doctoral degree at some point in their careers. A thesis is a report of a student s research project usually conducted in the final six months to one year of a graduate program. It must be completed prior to graduation. Those who undertake a thesis are exempt from the comprehensive examination. The following checklist offers a general outline of the process associated with doing a thesis: Meet with the MA Program Director for initial advisement and to identify any coursework deficiencies. After taking 18 hours of course work, select a thesis advisor (also called a thesis chair or director). With his/her consultation, choose a thesis committee and contact these individuals to ascertain their willingness to serve. Three tenured or tenure track professors from the Department of Health Education and Promotion should complete your committee. You can allow for additional members outside the department. Submit a thesis proposal to the thesis advisor and, once approved by the advisor, to committee members for approval. If approved by the committee and the study will involve human subjects, submit a completed human subjects proposal to the thesis advisor for input and then to the University Human Subjects Review Committee Guided by input from thesis advisor and committee, complete thesis research and prepare a thesis report. Submit the manuscript of the report to the thesis advisor for review and revision. The manuscript is prepared consistent with the Manual of Basic Requirements for Theses and Dissertations A student may also choose a journal format. This format includes the writing and submission of a journal article. Submit the thesis manuscript to other members of the thesis committee for review and revision. Schedule with thesis committee and complete an oral presentation/ defense of the thesis. Schedule this meeting at least ten working days prior to the defense. Make revisions recommended by committee Once the final thesis is approved by the thesis advisor (and sometimes the committee), electronically submit your thesis as directed by the Graduate School website. Graduate! Guidance for the format and procedures associated with a thesis are offered by the ECU Graduate School: ECU Manual of Basic Requirements for Theses and Dissertations:
10 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 10 of 14 Changing from Thesis Option to Coursework or Internship In some instances, students decide to change from the thesis option to the coursework or internship option. Students must contact the MA Program Director as well as complete the following form (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/registrar/upload/thesisnonthesischangeform- 3.pdf). The hours earned for thesis credit will not be counted towards degree completion and must be made up with other courses. MA in Health Education Internship Option The internship experience allows a student the opportunity to function as a health educator in a professional setting. The student needs to consider an agency consistent with their interests and ambitions for the future as well as an agency willing to mentor the student in terms of developing health education skills and competencies. Internships are valuable for those students without experience in Health Education. All students in the internship option are required to complete both HLTH 6990 and HLTH Each course requires 120 contact hours. These courses may be taken simultaneously or sequentially allowing for flexibility regarding the time period over which the 240 total hours are accumulated. Students must complete all of the program s core classes (Health 6001, 6011, 6101, 6110, 6600, 6650) prior to beginning an internship. They must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. For more information on internships please see the MA Blackboard site. Comprehensive Examination Students selecting the Internship or Course Work Option in their MA program are required to take a comprehensive examination at the end of their degree program. Students who complete the Thesis Option are exempt from the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is closed-book examination administered over the course of four hours and 15 minutes. The exam occurs in 2 parts: an objective section containing multiple choice/matching questions and an essay section. The comprehensive examination is administered three times a year and is generally scheduled during the last month of the Fall and Spring semesters and mid July. The comprehensive examination covers all required courses. The administration of this exam is subject to change from semester to semester. A study guide will be distributed during the beginning of the semester you take your comprehensive exam. This study guide is always available on the BlackBoard site for the MA in Health Education. Students may find it helpful to keep textbooks and save any course materials to review for the comprehensive exam. The comprehensive examination can be taken twice. In no case will a student who has failed the comprehensive examination be administered a second exam in the same semester in which he/she took the initial exam. If a student fails the exam twice they will be terminated from the MA Program.
11 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 11 of 14 Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Exam The curriculum for the MA in health education is aligned with the Responsibilities and Competencies outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Students who complete the MA degree are eligible to sit for the CHES examination (offered twice a year), which is the only certification for the field of health education. While health educators are not currently required obtain certification for employment, requiring applications to have CHES certification is becoming increasingly common. To find out more information about NCHEC and the CHES examination, please visit Graduate School Contacts Application questions Application Processor or Reenrollment Application Processor or Academic Belinda Patterson Probation/Termination Financial assistance Financial Aid Counselors Graduation graduate students Natasha Shepard Nonresident Tuition Sondra Remissions Registration graduate students Colleen Roland or Belinda Patterson Residency for Tuition Purposes Colleen Roland or Belinda Patterson Transfer, Non-degree Credit; Time Extension Requests Financial Aid ( ) Belinda Patterson or or
12 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 12 of 14 Additional Graduate Information and Requirements Distance Education Information All required courses in the MA Program are delivered on-line. Students also may take all of their elective courses on-line. A student may complete the MA Program while on the ECU campus or at a distance. If the student is on campus, several graduate assistantships are available. For further information about such assistantships, contact the MA program advisor. The Division of Continuing Studies serves as a bridge between the student at a distance and the academic and administrative units of the university. The following web site provides an orientation to distance education At this website, for example, you will learn how to purchase textbooks and how to operate Blackboard. Many of your examinations, including your comprehensive examination, will require you to utilize the University of North Carolina Proctor Network. Information regarding this service can be found here: Academic Probation According to the East Carolina University graduate catalog, in order to remain in good academic standing with the Graduate School, graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 once they have a total of 9 credit hours attempted and any additional or higher academic standards as established by their program of study. Students who fail to meet this criterion and/or their program s additional requirements may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program. Please see the graduate catalog for further information. Incomplete Coursework Incomplete coursework must be completed in accordance with the East Carolina University calendar deadlines. If a grade of I (incomplete) was assigned, it must be resolved within one calendar year or a grade of F will automatically be assigned. No exceptions to this policy will be allowed. No student will be allowed to graduate with an incomplete on his or her record. Graduate School Appeals Procedures Students who fail the comprehensive exam may appeal the decision with the Graduate School. Details on that process can be found here: To appeal a grade for a course, information on that process can be found here: Master of Arts in Health Education Frequently Asked Questions
13 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 13 of 14 How will I know if I have been accepted to the MA Program? You will receive a letter from the Graduate School. What should I do after I receive acceptance to the MA Program? You should Dr. Wallen to be added to the MA BlackBoard site that offers information on registration, courses, and other resources. You also need to request to be added to the MA distribution list. How do I register for classes? You can view information on registration on the MA BlackBoard site under the registration tab. This will provide you with a checklist and steps to register. If you have additional questions after reviewing this material you may contact Dr. Michele Wallen Can I take classes in the MA Program while not being accepted? Yes, apply to the Graduate School as a non-degree student. Caution! You may only transfer NINE (9) semester hours credit taken as an ECU non-degree student to the MA Program. That means that you must contact the MA program director and advisor, Dr. Wallen as soon as you decide to take courses for non-degree credit. Can I transfer credits taken at another university to the MA Program? Yes. First, you can only transfer credits from an unfinished master s degree program. Second, you can only transfer 7 of these credits. How do I buy textbooks, learn how to log on to Blackboard, learn about financial aid, etc? Go to the Division of Continuing Studies web site (http://www.ecu.edu/dcs/) and click on Options for Adult Learners (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/options/index.cfm). Spend some time at this site many of your questions will be answered. Where do I take my courses? All courses for the MA in Health Education are offered on-line. The university has an on-line course management site called Blackboard that you will use to take your courses. How many credit hours do I have to take? The program requires a total of 30 semester hours What if I want to pursue the MA in Health Education but have no background in health education? Applicants with undergraduate degrees in areas other than Health Education may be required to take additional coursework. These courses can usually be taken co-requisite to the student s regular graduate program. Am I eligible for a graduate assistantship? Students who are accepted by and enrolled in the MA program and are on-campus may be eligible for a graduate teaching or research assistantship. For more information, please contact the MA program advisor.
14 Master of Arts in Health Education Handbook 14 of 14 Updated: Spring 2015